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How to Fix a Quartz Watch

The quartz watch remains an excellent timepiece even in modern times.
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Quartz watches have become popular timepieces among collectors since their introduction to modern life in the early 1970s. Quartz technology uses a crystal to electronically control an oscillator in order to produce precise signals that maintain accurate time. This makes quartz watches incredibly reliable and they are also relatively inexpensive to manufacture. Quartz watches are highly collectible, even though LED watches have superseded them in recent times. A worn or damaged quartz watch is simple to repair, and individual components are still widely available.

Carry out a visual examination of the quartz watch and look for obvious signs of wear or damage. Check to see whether all of the hands are operational and wind the stem to ensure it engages correctly. The stem should be able to move the hour and minute hands if it is fully functional. Remember that quartz watches work using a battery so the stem does not need to be manually wound.

Open the rear of the quartz watch using a watchmaker’s case opener or a small screwdriver of between 0.8 mm and 1.0 mm in size. Take extreme care when removing the back plate to avoid scratches. Remove the old battery and dispose of it responsibly. Add a replacement battery and check the face of the quartz watch to ensure that the second hand is moving.

Leave the back plate off and look to the lefthand inner side of the watch mechanism to locate the stem. Use one of the small screwdrivers to push gently down on the spring to release the stem mechanism and remove it completely. Insert the new stem and spring into position and push into place firmly. Ensure that the new stem is able to move the hour and minute hands when it is pulled into an extended position.

Take a can of compressed air and lightly blow out the inside of the quartz watch to remove any traces of dust or debris. Place the back plate into position and secure it by snapping into place or reinserting the removed screws.

Finish repairs to the quartz watch by removing the strap pins using the small screwdriver. Dispose of the old strap and place the strap pins into each end of the new strap. Attach the new strap to the body of the watch, using the small screwdriver to manipulate the pins into the correct position. The quartz watch should now work and is ready to wear.

Things You'll Need:

  • Quartz watch
  • Case opener
  • 0.8 mm to 1.0 mm screwdrivers
  • Replacement stem
  • Replacement spring
  • New battery
  • Can of compressed air
  • Replacement strap


Scratches and scuffs to the body of a quartz watch can be professionally removed by a jeweler.

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